SPEAK UP: Africans see growing corruption, poor government response, but fear retaliation if they speak out

Developing countries lose $1.26 trillion a year to corruption, theft, and tax evasion, according to analysts’ estimates – a sum large enough to lift 1.4 billion people above the poverty line for six years (Fleming, 2019). Unless we control corruption, development experts say, achieving the other Sustainable Development Goals will be all but impossible (United Nations, 2019; Rubio & Andvig, 2019).

Yet corruption scandals make almost daily headlines, in Africa as elsewhere. South Africa continues to wrestle with the fallout of state capture during Jacob Zuma’s presidency (Alberts,

2020; Arun, 2020). Namibians are gearing up for one of their most prominent court cases ever, involving two ministers accused and imprisoned in the #Fishrot corruption scandal (Zenda, 2020; Iceland Review, 2020). Allegations of corruption involving COVID-19 pandemic relief pour in from Zimbabwe (Chingono, 2020), Somalia (Dhaysane, 2020), Kenya (Malalo, 2020), Nigeria (Financial Times, 2020), and other countries.